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Sierra Leone

Population size: 

8,008,141 [1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

No research.

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

No research.

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

No research.

Current law and policy:

While some action has been taken and political will is apparent, Sierra Leone continues to struggle with complex, entrenched issues leading to gender based violence.

In 2007, Sierra Leone passed legislation making domestic violence a criminal offense. It also strengthens protections from domestic violence through enhanced police responses, protection orders and support for victims. Ivory Coast and Liberia lack such laws.[2]

In February 2019 Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio declared a national emergency over sexual and gender-based violence, however, that state of emergency was already revoked by June 2019 without any additional funding going towards the pledges made.

Parliament passed The Sexual Offences Amendment Act 2019 increasing the sentences for rape and criminalising settling a rape case without police involvement.

Very few women feel protected by the laws that are in place.[3] Domestic abuse is very common. The main threat to women is their husband, rather than a stranger on the street.[4]



[1] Worldometer, “Sierra Leone Population (Live)”, (

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